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Cell Mol Life Sci. 2012 Sep;69(17):2907-17. doi: 10.1007/s00018-012-0984-7. Epub 2012 Apr 19.

The intestinal epithelium tuft cells: specification and function.

Author information

1
CNRS UMR5203, 34094, Montpellier, France.

Abstract

The intestinal epithelium, composed of at least seven differentiated cell types, represents an extraordinary model to understand the details of multi-lineage differentiation, a question that is highly relevant in developmental biology as well as for clinical applications. This review focuses on intestinal epithelial tuft cells that have been acknowledged as a separate entity for more than 60 years but whose function remains a mystery. We discuss what is currently known about the molecular basis of tuft cell fate and differentiation and why elucidating tuft cell function has been so difficult. Finally, we summarize the current hypotheses on their potential involvement in diseases of the gastro-intestinal tract.

PMID:
22527717
PMCID:
PMC3417095
DOI:
10.1007/s00018-012-0984-7
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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